What’s Poppin’ at the Ridge?


Carlee Stuart, Journalist

Photography students have taken on the challenge of capturing a live-action moment of a water balloon popping. In their classes, they experimented with different techniques to get the perfect shot. Through trial and error, the final pictures were truly such great art.

Photography teacher, Mr. McConnell says, “The beauty of this assignment is that it is fun and yet really forces students to grasp exposure in getting a good balloon/water exposure and a black background.”

This activity may seem easy in theory, but takes a lot of knowledge and different skills to truly capture the ideal image. Getting the picture perfect moment required certain camera settings and a correct set up of materials. 

I liked how everybody had fun and there was no one who didn’t want to do it.

— Christian Bryant

“We use a very fast shutter speed 1/2000 of a second or faster,” stated McConnell. “ The balloon must be in direct sunlight and a shadowed wall of the building must be behind the balloon.  We expose for the balloon and it is so much brighter than the walls of our school that the wall goes black.  We enhance the looks in Photoshop and in some of the images Photoshop is used to tweak the colors.”

The process to capture these images, took certain measures so that the picture would turn out as desired. The students, in groups, had to synchronize each of their jobs so when the balloon bursts they were ready to capture the moment. While this was the first time McConnell has ever done this with his classes, the activity got a great response. 

Sophomore, Ryder Lane said, “It was really fun. Someone held the balloon and poked it. We had the camera on continuous shots so once they popped it, we took a bunch of photos and found the best one. I liked when my teacher complimented my photo, but if I could change one thing I would pop the balloon from a different angle.”

Students had the opportunity to experiment with their own photos bringing creativity and their own spin to the images. No two pictures were the same showing students’ true skills.


“I thought it was very fun and everyone’s photos turned out very good. It was interesting how just changing one thing on the camera settings altered the whole photo,” said Madelyn May, sophomore.

This assignment was definitely a huge hit that would be awesome if seen done next year. It was essential for students to be original and work together teaching them more than how to just take a photo. The images all came out beautifully showing the true artistry of this activity.